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Our Team


Zoar Outdoor was established in 1989 to offer outdoor adventures in the Deerfield River Valley and beyond. Our staff of over 100 consists of friendly professionals from all walks of life ranging in age from 18 – 65 years.

Many of our staff are cross-trained in several areas, enabling them to work as a raft guide, kayak instructor or climbing teacher. It is not uncommon to find a high school math teacher, a nurse or a lawyer guiding one of our rafts or teaching in a kayak. The versatility of our team members allows our staff to provide excellent service to our guests and to make each Zoar Outdoor adventure truly memorable.

Janet Burnett Cowie – Director of Business Operations

Janet Burnett Cowie

Director of Business Operations

Janet Cowie has been part of the Zoar Outdoor team since 1996 and now holds the position of Director of Business Operations. As the leader of a values driven company, her focus is on building teams that nurture a growth mindset. She has been involved in all aspects of the business including overseeing logistics, retail, marketing and instruction programs. With her people skills and expertise, she has helped to grow the paddlesport program into one of the premier kayak programs in the country.

Janet started whitewater paddling in 1983 when she joined the University of Massachusetts Outing Club and rivers continue to be a main force in her life as they connect us to the natural world and to each other. She continues to be actively involved with the American Canoe Association and is a ACA Level 4 Whitewater Kayak Instructor Trainer Educator, Level 3 River Canoe Instructor Trainer and Advanced Swiftwater Rescue Instructor. In 2011 Janet received ACA’s Excellence in Instruction Award. She helped to organize the first Whitewater Symposium at Zoar Outdoor in 2003 and again in 2009.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts.

She lives in the hills of Franklin County and when not at work you can find her frolicking in the woods with her Border Collie who is too smart for his own good.

Gabe Porter-Henry – Director of Summer Operations

Gabe Porter-Henry

Director of Summer Operations

Gabriel Porter-Henry grew up in the Charlemont area, spending winter’s at Berkshire East and worked his way through college as a whitewater raft guide on the Deerfield River. Those early experiences forged a 25 year career in the outdoor field, as a guide, creating and managing international travel programs for youth, as well as ski area management over the past decade. Gabe is passionate about connecting customers to outdoor adventures and the growth that comes with pushing one’s comfort zone.  He can often be found playing in the areas that he works, whether that be biking down Thunder Mountain Bike Park or kayaking the Dryway. When not in the area, he enjoys ski guiding in British Columbia or seeking out multi-day river trips when the opportunity allows.

Grace Plunkett – Director of Guest Experience

Grace Plunkett

Director of Guest Experience

Grace has recently returned to New England from the NY Metro Area and is happy to be back in touch with her mountain roots! She brings years of experience in Customer Service and procedural management to the team. She strives to help our guests find the perfect adventure and is busy in the winter months preparing for the next season. Grace connects with organizations and guests to help bring them to the outdoors and build memorable experiences for all.

In her free time, Grace goes on nature adventures with her dog, plays guitar, and spends time with family. Chances are high that if you call the office you will get to chat with her!

Nate Marr – Director of Marketing

Nate Marr

Director of Marketing

Nate was introduced to Zoar Outdoor as a novice kayak student when he was fifteen years old.  His passion for the sport and love for the area led him to select a college in proximity to both.  He joined the Zoar team in 2000 as he entered his first year in college and had the opportunity to work closely with the company’s founding members.  During those early years, he learned invaluable lessons on how to create memorable experiences for guests in the outdoor industry and focused his studies on building upon those passions.
Upon completion of his coursework in marketing, communications, and finance, he went out to explore the world.  He lived briefly in New York, then Boston working in corporate finance for several years.  During one particularly frigid Boston winter he went on a tropical vacation where a once in a lifetime opportunity presented itself.  Six months later he traded his suit and tie for shorts and flip flops and ended up spending a decade as the Captain of a sailing charter in the Spanish Virgin Islands.
During those ten years he visited the Berkshires often and always hoped to return ‘home’ more frequently.  The pandemic was a bittersweet end to his time in the Caribbean and his return to Western Massachusetts and, ultimately, his return to Zoar.  After all those years he found himself to be part of Zoar’s leadership team, whose mission and vision remains in alignment with the original founders.
Nate also manages the marketing department for Berkshire East Mountain Resort, our sister company across the river.  Sometimes you can catch him paddling the Deerfield, trail running, or carving turns on the mountain.

Katrina O’Brien – Director Of Risk Management

Katrina O’Brien

Director of Risk Management

Katrina O’Brien grew up in western MA fishing and swimming in whitewater rivers.  When she had an opportunity to learn to whitewater kayak through her local high school and Zoar Outdoor, she leapt at the chance.  After a couple of years, Katrina became a whitewater kayak instructor and has been teaching and paddling ever since.  Even though she’s had the opportunity to paddle across the US, and in Japan, New Zealand, Peru, and Canada, she insists that the Deerfield is among the best teaching rivers anywhere! 

These days she spends the majority of her time at Berkshire East working as the Assistant General Manager and Director of Winter Operations, as well as acting as the Director of Risk Management for Berkshire East and Zoar Outdoor.  Katrina can also still be found on the river teaching kayaking and swiftwater rescue, and playing in whitewater!

June Roy-Martin – Director Of Human Resources

June Roy-Martin

Director of Human Resources

June has been involved with Zoar Outdoor since 2019 as the Director of Human Resources. She enjoys working with and supporting all the staff she encounters. June spends time at Berkshire East and Catamount Ski Resort as well.

June has worked in Human Resources & Communications for over 30 years. She attended Bridgewater State University, UMASS Isenberg School of Management for her MBA and Villanova University for a certification in Organizational Management. She grew up in Dalton in the Berkshires. Always exploring everywhere she has lived, June enjoys hiking, running and cycling and swimming everywhere she can.

Tera Adams -Rafting Operations Manager

Tera Adams

Rafting Operations Manager

It’s hard to have a bad day when you’re outside. Growing up on the Kern River in the California eastern Sierra Nevada’s, Tera has found a comfortable place on the Deerfield. Tera has been a commercial guide since she was 16 yrs old. In the 20+ years of guiding she’s worked across the country on day trips to multi-days, working with all types of clients including youth and people with disabilities. Her favorite part about being the Rafting Operations Manager is the incredible team of managers and guides she gets to interact with on a daily basis.

In the winter Tera enjoys snowboarding with her teenage son. She is part of the education staff of the Professional Ski Instructors of America-American Association of Snowboard Instructors eastern education staff, and is the program director of Adaptive Sports at Mount Snow.

Davis Britland – Seasonal Rafting Manager

Davis Britland

Seasonal Rafting Manager

Davis got his first taste of whitewater here at Zoar Outdoor back in 2017. He’s been here since, entertaining guests in both the trees and on the river. He’s rafted all over New England and is constantly looking for new rivers to explore. Whether it’s careening down a mountain on a snowboard in the winter months or peddling back up on a mountain bike when it’s warmer, you can usually find him enjoying the outdoors with his friends.

Jim Sullivan – Paddlesports Manager – Training Specialist

Jim Sullivan

Paddlesports Manager – Training Specialist

Jim has been paddling the rivers of New England since learning to kayak as a teen near Springfield, Massachusetts. He is an avid river runner, playboater and all-around paddler. He has run every rapid on the Dryway on a standup paddleboard (upright) at least once! He works closely with Amanda providing leadership in our Paddlesports programs.

Amanda Major – Paddlesports Manager

Amanda Major

Paddlesports Manager

Amanda joined the Zoar Outdoor team in 2017 as a whitewater kayaking instructor. From the moment she slid into the Deerfield River in a whitewater kayak with the Hampshire College outdoor program, she wanted to spend lots of time paddling and focusing on bringing more people into the sport.

During her time as an outdoor educator, Amanda has worn an assortment of hats—mindfulness outdoor leader, wilderness therapy guide, and instructor. Before her shift to the outdoors, she worked an officey job as a program coordinator for a national reproductive justice organization. She feels passionately about merging her love for the outdoors with her social justice values. Finding ways to make outdoor experiences accessible and inclusive for everyone makes her heart sing. She loves teaching wet exits and talking people through their mental game.

When she isn’t kayaking or supporting the Zoar Outdoor Paddlesports team, she enjoys mountain biking, spending quality time with lovely people, and trying to teach herself how to juggle.

Kyle Sweeney – Zip Line Canopy Tour Manager

Kyle Sweeney

Zip Line Canopy Tour Manager

Kyle began working at Zoar Outdoor in 2013 as a Zipline Canopy Tour Guide. Since then, he has worked in various roles within the company and sister company, Berkshire East Mountain Resort, including: raft guiding, kayak and canoe instruction, ski instruction, and river safety and rescue instruction. In 2024, Kyle stepped into the role of Zipline Canopy Tour Manager, where he has been able to hone in his technical and leadership skills, and continue working in the program that got him started with the company.

Outside Zoar Outdoor, Kyle is an active member of Charlemont’s Emergency Services. He continues to combine his passion for the outdoors with his desire to help others by acting as a river rescue instructor for area fire departments along the Deerfield.


Want to be a part of our team?